I’m writing this as I reach the end of a 30 day ‘ketogenic’ diet plan. I’ve lost about 12 kilos, which is a massive success but the biggest achievement is that is without doubt the first time I have ever stayed on any ‘diet’ for this long.
I haven’t stretched my allowances, cheated, or gone off plan once. It wasn’t always plain sailing but I never once felt it was difficult.
Yes I had headaches, sickness, diarrhea and all the other issues. I also had days of crushing fatigue, ravenous hunger, dizzy spells and brain fog. But even on those days I never once had to ‘dig in’ in order to continue.
I’ve eaten out about 8 times over the last 4 weeks and never once felt deprived.
Very early on I realised that there was something very different about this plan.
I’ve done diets my entire life.
I’ve downloaded menu plans, and filled in forms and done the suggested work to reprogramme myself to “think like a slim person”. I’ve set goals, made plans, bought all the right foods/shakes/pills …..but I’ve always failed. Often very quickly, but always well before a month is up.
I’ve also understood keto for a long time. I’ve always known it’s what I needed to do. It worked. But I just couldn’t seem to do it. Or I could but I would cheat or tweak and ultimately fail.
I think I’ve worked out why.
Most diets talk to your inner critic. Your Ego. The voice of fear. Even the standard SW or WW plan. It’s based on telling your inner critic that in order to succeed you need to set a goal and do the plan. They tell you that if you do it properly… it works for everyone.
The problem with that is your inner critic is ready to sabotage you at any moment. For all sorts of reasons.
And the standard diet industry is very happy about that… because then they can blame you.
They say ‘The diet works’
You just didn’t do it properly
You didn’t want it enough
You didn’t have enough willpower
Your why needs to be stronger than your why not!
Nothing tastes as good as thin feels!
And because you can see other people succeeding (for now) you blame yourself too. And you pay them more money to try again.
The difference here is that we are encouraged to listen to him… and then galvanize our inner coach.
The plan I am following is simple. But it is in two parts and each is as important as the other. The first part is a simple food plan that is so basic you can just shop and then put the meal together like it’s a jigsaw puzzle. No thought required.
The food nourishes and induces ketosis which stops us feeling hungry and makes remarkable healing happen inside. It equips our inner coach with a suit of armor so that she can fight off your critic and put him back in his box
And while that’s happening we can continue in blind faith that it will work while we work on the second part which is the mindset stuff
And that is more than just goal setting and willpower.
In fact, goal weight is a tiny part of it. Our goals feature in our initial 50 reasons but the reason there are 50 is because Deb recognises that wanting to shed weight is so much deeper than just your goals of being a certain size or weight, healing illness and wanting to run around after your kids.
The mindset booklet is an exercise in hearing the two voices that exist in our head and being able to identify which is which.
We are asked to list 50 reasons why we want to shed weight and 20 reasons why we may want to stay the same.
Our 50 reasons is largely the voice of our inner coach.
Our 20 reasons to stay the same… that’s our inner critic shouting at us.
We don’t have to silence the critic. It’s not about slaying him or putting a brave face on things.
It’s about being able to tell the difference between a thought or a belief that is driven by love or fear. Your inner guide or your ego. Your inner coach or your inner critic.
We don’t even have to ignore him (or her….. mine is a him. His name is Robert and he is an arse)
We HAVE TO listen to what he has to say.
Really listen. Feel the feeling.
Then we can examine it and call it out for the bullshit that it is.
‘Your mum/sister/aunty/school teacher always said you were fat’
‘Thanks Robert. I hear you. But that person had her own issues. They were not my fault. I choose to forgive her, but I will not hold myself accountable her bullshit anymore’
‘You were called ‘tree trunks’ at school. You will always have awful legs’
“Thanks Robert. Those kids that called me that were deeply insecure in themselves. Sometimes it easier for teenagers to deflect attention and cover up their own issues with bravado and bullying. Their behaviour was nothing to do with me, and I hope they have dealt with their problems now they are older. I’m sure that I did similar things too. We all grow up don’t we?’
When you allow your inner critic to speak while you listen hard….and then you respond….. magic happens. Your inner coach finds her voice and those issues that we have carried for so long can be dissolved.
And we can do that by putting in the mindset work. Every day, but especially at the start.
The book that contained the 30 day food plan was important.
I printed the key pages and I read the whole thing several times.
But my mindset book was the single most important thing that has kept me going. I guarded that book. I took it everywhere. It was the only bit of the plan (plus the diary) that I packed for my visit to the UK.
It is dog eared and tatty and torn but it feels like it’s my bible.
It is the voice of my inner coach.
I wasn’t bought up in a religious home … but maybe that’s how Christians or other religions view their god? Maybe it is simply the voice of their inner coach. The voice of love. The universe responding to us and saying ‘yes… what is it that you want?… let’s go get it’
I’m learning more about spirituality and I believe in universal energy and the power of prayer, meditation and the law of attraction.
And the more I think about it… the more certain I am that we can use the word God, the universe, love and our inner coach interchangeably.
Anyway. This is the difference between your average commercial diet plan and this one. I’ve done SW and WW before and I treated the food book… the list of diet rules …. as my bible…
But that wasn’t my inner coaches voice… that was a one size fits all food plan that I needed willpower to follow. Apart from the odd scribble or post it note I added there was nothing of me in that book at all.
In contrast… My mindset book is mine. I wrote it. (With Deborah Murtaghs help of course)….. and it’s nothing like yours. It’s my inner coach that speaks from the pages and your inner coach will speak from yours.
With that book in my hands… there is no willpower required. I just don’t want to go off plan. And if I ever had a wobble, I would first check that I was doing the plan right… and then read my bible.
I have only done the initial 30 day challenge at the moment but I am exited about changing to the full programme.
I don’t fear my ability to do it. I don’t feel like I need to find the willpower or sacrifice anything. And I don’t have any concern that it won’t work.
Because I just know that it will. And not because I’ve dedicated myself to it.
But because I did the one thing that Deborah tells us to at the very start.
Do the mindset work.
I’m reading the new mindset book and I’m excited. Really excited.
The 30 days has changed my life and I can see that the next phase builds on it.